From spending US$70 million on sportswear and athletic footwear in 2022, according to Statista, Vietnamese are expected to spend about double that each year by 2027. And big players are already taking advantage. The world’s biggest sportswear retailer, Decathlon, only recently opened its fifth store in Hanoi’s Ha Dong district. Counterfeit sportswear is a big problem But there are challenges in Vietnam’s sportswear market. Namely, counterfeit goods. Vietnam’s cities are pockmarked with stores selling counterfeit sportswear along with tourists and locals eager to buy big name brands at a fraction of the price.
This is unfortunate too, with a Standard Insights and We Create Content survey in 2021 finding that 87 percent of Vietnamese sports fans surveyed would be interested in buying official merchandise. Vietnam’s role in world football can only get bigger But despite the challenges facing the sportswear market in Vietnam, the relatively nascent football market can only get bigger.
It employs an estimated 484, 000 workers. At the World Cup this year, Nike will be responsible for the kits of: Qatar, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, France, Croatia, England, the Netherlands, South Korea, Canada, Portugal, the USA, and Australia. And then there is Puma. The third biggest sportswear sponsor at the 2022 World Cup. Puma’s kit will adorn the players of Serbia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Ghana, Morocco, and Senegal. Like Adidas and Nike, Puma also has a vast presence in Vietnam. It began working with Vietnamese manufacturers in 2007 and Vietnam has since become its ‘strongest production country’ accounting for 32 percent of Puma’s total production volume. Football consumption in Vietnam Vietnam’s burgeoning middle class is showing itself to be more than just a source of labor for the factories of big sports brands.
This is on the back of a survey by Indochina Research that found 77 percent of Vietnamese people watched at least one game of the World Cup in 2018. Clearly, the consumer market for all things football is growing, alongside rising incomes, and this has created a fertile market for vendors of football-related products from mixed media to apparel. But of course, there is more to Vietnam’s role than as a consumer in the world football market. Vietnam also doubles as a manufacturing powerhouse for football merchandise and sportswear.
As such, despite not fielding a team in Qatar, Vietnam is still likely to be well represented on the pitch. Big sporting brands making football kits in Vietnam Vietnam has become a hub of manufacturing activity for big sportswear brands. Adidas, for example, has 76 third-party suppliers in Vietnam employing some 200, 000 workers. Adidas has been an official partner of the FIFA World Cup since the 1970s, supplying match balls as well as uniforms for player escorts, officials, referees, ball crew, and volunteers.